Gowlings: 10 years of serving a law firm across Canada

Challenge

In 2004, after a merger, the Canadian law firm Gowlings had just changed its name and needed a notoriety boost in Montreal. Over the 10 years that lasted the mandate, CASACOM also worked for multiple offices across the country on various issues.

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Strategies and Actions

After having worked on a distinctive positioning, we developed a comprehensive plan for visibility. At first, we set up an “emergency” phone line for journalists to call with their legal questions. To promote this line, we distributed old-fashioned red phone in news rooms. With this stunt and well trained and accessible lawyers, Gowlings quickly became a resource for the media. Later, hot topic luncheon meetings were held to develop an even closer relationship between lawyers and journalists. We focused on issues that were present in the news, helping the journalists do a better job, while promoting the firm’s expertise.

We also had agreements with specialized magazines for lawyers who collaborated as columnists. In addition, we systematically positioned Gowlings lawyers involved in high-profile cases such as the Robinson case, the Canada-Cree agreement or the negotiations for the renewal of collective agreements in the Québec public sector. Through specialized conferences, we highlighted the expertise of Gowlings in sharp practices and newsworthy topics such as the federal anti-corruption or anti-spam legislation which were relevant to their main customer base: business lawyers, including participating in joint activities with the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association. We also focused our PR efforts on recruitment and business development issues the firm was facing. We worked to engage law students through various social media initiatives such as the Facebook contest "I want Gowlings', and also by training them to become better at business development on LinkedIn.

Results

In ten years, CASACOM’s various strategies and actions generated hundreds of media hits in the business pages of major newspapers and financial magazines in Quebec and Canada. The coverage had a positive impact not only on building awareness and bringing visibility to the firm, but also by attracting major new contracts. Our media reach went from 14,7M impressions in 2004 to 60M in 2013.